I have quite a bit of experience in various forms of babysitting. Not only am I the oldest of seven kids, but I have also volunteered in nursery, children's church, VBS, and Awana programs in a teaching/crowd controlling/game inventing/babysitting capacity. Most recently, Angel and I were charged with babysitting my 6 and 8 year old cousins one evening. I thought I'd share some of my best advice on babysitting so that others can benefit from my vast experience.
1. Don't actually sit on the babies. They might tell their parents on you and then you probably won't get paid very well.
2. The television is your friend. Best bet? Bring along a movie of your own that the kids you're watching haven't seen a million times. But most kids are still pretty happy to watch a movie they have seen a million times, so don't panic if you don't own any child-friendly movies (I own one for just such special occasions: Toy Story 3)
3. Don't be afraid to push up bedtime a little bit. If the parents say, "Their usual bedtime is around 8," have them start brushing their teeth by 7:15. Don't underestimate the time it takes to get them sleeping before Mom and Dad come home.
4. It's okay to ask if your husband can come over and help you babysit. I know it was always taboo to have your boyfriend over while babysitting other people's kids, but so far, no one seems to mind when I ask if Angel can come along. See? That wedding band does mean something.
5. Invent games that you can use to your advantage. Some games I've used successfully in the past: Quiet as a Mouse (everyone stays as quiet as possible for as long as possible to see who wins), Still as a Statue (same concept, only no movement allowed), Who Can Pick up the Most Toys, Who Can Put Their Pajamas on the Fastest, etc.
The Sleeping Game: Whoever can most convince me that they are actually asleep, wins. Who do you think is doing a better job?
The game where you sit on the couch and tell the kids to walk from one side of the house to the other side of the house using many different styles of walking: Do lunges, march, tip-toe, walk backwards, crawl like a baby, hop like a frog, hop like a rabbit, roll on the floor, somersault, etc. Angel and I watch them do this for about 30 minutes.
6. Do not forget about the kids you are babysitting. I've never done this, but I've had dreams that Angel and I had babies and we always forget about them and leave them in random places, so not forgetting about the children is a priority to me.
7. If all else fails, do the limbo with them.
How many of you supported your teenage lifestyle with an income from babysitting?